Half a million acres now in community ownership

The Pairc Trust in South East Lewis

The Scottish Government said more than 500,000 acres of land in Scotland are now in community ownership – passing the half way mark to the million acres target set in 2013.

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said there have been some impressive examples of community buyouts throughout Scotland, especially in the islands, including the Pairc Trust in South East Lewis.

“The 28,000 acres in the Pairc Estate community buy out, for example, will help to reverse a century of population decline by providing additional local jobs, more affordable good housing, and better community facilities to improve the quality of life for all local residents,” said Cunningham.

“We remain ambitious, and today’s milestone marks only the half-way point on our journey to ensuring that one million acres moves into community hands – but it is an encouraging and important step forward in our land reform journey.

“It is also only part of our wider and on-going programme of reform across Scotland.

“A land rights and responsibilities statement and a Scottish Land Commission will follow.

“We will also support landowners to better engage with communities and will shortly begin to implement the act’s agricultural holdings provisions, helping tenant farmers.

“Together these steps will begin to ensure that land in Scotland delivers benefit for everyone.”